It’s weird how quickly american soil crept back into my blood. I hadn’t been back from Africa for more than 24 hours when real life hit like a wave crashing in. I wanted to remember all of the stories and more importantly I wanted to remember how close God felt every day. So today I am remembering Jill.
We met Jill when we arrived in Uganda, she explained how the babies homes are run at our orientation and then traveled with us everyday except the last two. There were two things that struck me about Jill when I first met her, 1. she was white 2. she was young. I assumed she was on staff with Watoto since she could tell you every babies story, every detail about day to day life in the babies home, and exactly who did what. I only learned later that she was a volunteer. Almost immediately we all bonded with Jill, her heart for these kids was so apparent and many of the days she was exhausted from staying up all night with a sick baby. She loved these kids as if they were her own and had spent the last year and half dedicating her life to them. She ate, breathed, and slept Watoto. What was wonderful about Jill was that she was just a normal girl making a huge impact, she had taken a break in nursing school to come to Watoto for three months but ended up not being able to leave. She had put her life on hold to answer God’s call and all at the age of 21. She wasn’t married and had no kids of her own but everyday she was a mother to eighty precious children. When I asked her when she was planning on going back home to Canada she would just smile and say “I don’t know”. She was a living example of trusting each day to God.
Jill will probably never know the absolute inspiration she was to me (unless she happens to read this) but it is funny how God often introduces you to people who are doing what you said you could never do. I am always saying I am too young to make a difference, too young to write a book, too young to follow God’s calling but Jill is living proof that God is faithful when he has called you to something. Jill raised support for three months but has been living off of it for a year and a half. She is just a volunteer, no pay check, no secured position, but that never seemed to bother her. Her work wasn’t about position or title it was about loving those God had called her to love.
I think Jill inspired me so much because she is proof that “too young” is just a lie. You don’t need a college education to follow God, you don’t need expertise to answer his call, and you don’t have to have a big title to change the world.
Leaving Jill was almost as hard as saying goodbye to the babies we had come to love but I have no doubt that God will continue to take care of her and bless her.